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‘Enact law for establishment of bone banks’

BY: Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah
Dr Konadu-Yehoah (in tie) demonstrating how accident victims with fractured leg should be handled before being sent to the hospital
Dr Konadu-Yehoah (in tie) demonstrating how accident victims with fractured leg should be handled before being sent to the hospital

A senior Specialist Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Dr Dominic Konadu-Yeboah, has advocated the enactment of a law that will make it possible for the establishment of bone banks, just like blood banks in the country.

Such a law, according to him, will allow for the harvesting of bones from the dead, which will be treated scientifically to eliminate micro-organisms, and preserve them for use on victims of accidents who may critically need them.

Dr Konadu-Yeboah was speaking at a three-day training workshop in Kumasi for selected journalists from the northern sector on how to report on trauma and fractures.

The workshop was part of efforts to create awareness of paediatric trauma/fractures and to achieve the overall goal of the Paediatric Fracture Solutions for Ghana Project.

The goal of the project is to reduce disability, morbidity and mortality from paediatric musculoskeletal trauma through prevention and education by improving the clinical care provided by doctors, nurses, allied healthcare workers, first interveners and primary caregivers.

The workshop was organised by the Ghana College of Physicians, in collaboration with OA Alliance, a developmental non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the care of the injured in lower-and middle-income countries.

Bone bank

Dr Konadu-Yeboah stated that, “if we have a bone bank, we can resort to that facility and get the bone that we need to serve specific purposes that can enhance the outcomes of the treatment to make the patient very happy”.

He explained that there was the need for a law that would make the setting up of such a facility legal and called on stakeholders to give the proposal a critical thought.

Dr Konadu-Yeboah stated that as the practice of orthopaedic in Ghana continued to develop, more orthopaedic surgeons were doing complicated operations, which required such a facility to enhance their work.

Without such a facility, sometimes limbs may be amputated which otherwise could have been saved, he explained.

Precautionary measures

Dr Konadu-Yeboah called for the dissemination of information on injury prevention to all parts of the country so as to minimise injury-related preventable deaths and disability.

The orthopaedic surgeon also called for the building of capacity in trauma care to enable members of the communities to know how to handle such injuries before the victims were sent to hospitals for treatment.